Children with Dental anxiety and tips for parents to help
At The Brush Stop Pediatric Dentistry, we have a specialized team that work with children with dental anxieties on a daily basis, and we completely understand! The mouth is a very intimate space. Children are asked to lie down, open wide, and let a stranger into their mouth with sharp tools! It’s why we implement certain steps into the process that give children back some of the control over their appointment. Kids get to choose their movie, and their toothpaste flavor before we even start!
But there are a lot of things you as parents can do, to help ease your child’s nerves regarding their visit to the dentist.
- Mind what you say: Often times, parents will make comments in front of their children like “I hate the dentist.” Remember that your child emulates your behavior, fears and thoughts. You are their primary learning source. So if you are expressing a dislike for your own visits to the dentist, there is absolutely no reason to expect your child to enjoy their visit. Instead, try to show enthusiasm and excitement for the dentist. Explain to your children why visiting the dentist will keep them healthy and help them grow, and use personal statements like, “mommy and daddy get to go to the dentist 2 times a year, and we love it.” It’s important to understand that there have been milestones in pediatrics that can help us make children more comfortable than what our generation was exposed to.
- Prepare your child: Reading books regarding a visit to the dentist, or watching their favorite TV program that often features a visit to the dentist, can often reshape a child’s image of what the dentist can be. Take a tour of the office before you come in with our online virtual tour: http://thebrushstopdental.com/office-tour/
- Come to your appointment early: Giving your child a few minutes to get acclimated to their environment will help immensely. We have a reception area catered to children of all ages. They can spend time playing in the designated play area, and take a tour of the office before sitting down. This added time allows your child’s anxiety levels to decrease, as they become more and more comfortable with their surroundings.
- More frequent visits: In some instances, repetition is key. Allowing your child to come in for shorter visits, more frequently, will make them more acclimated to their environment, and allow us to build their confidence in the dental chair.
These are just a few ideas that help assist children in their transition into a positive dental experience. If your child is apprehensive about the dentist, don’t hesitate to call us at 760-635-5995. We are happy to help you navigate through to a happy, healthy, and fun experience!
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